School Has Started.

Hello, there! It has been too long since I posted something here. I have been on "vacation" with visiting relatives from Japan, preparing and finding our own rhythm as our daughter's schooling started.

Speaking of starting school, have your children gone back to school during the last few weeks?  If you are one of those parents who sent your children off to school, especially with a home packed lunch, my hats off to you. Seriously. I have been there, and it is not easy. This year, we decided to homeschool our kindergartener for various personal reasons. Although we do not have the early morning hassle of getting the kids ready, we experience other challenges: lessons plans (for mama), activities, co-op meetings, helping them stay focused, and FOOD! 

I don't know about your children, but my children are always hungry. It seems they want to eat every hour. I feed them breakfast, and one hour later,  they tell me they are hungry. Right after they finish lunch, they are already talking about what they will have for snack and dinner. I don't mind them eating at all, but I have to come up with variety of healthy snacks. Our regular snacks are fruits (tons of fruits), veggie sticks & crackers with hummus, cheese, smoothies, homemade muffins, yogurt with granola, and homemade granola bars. 

Very Satisfying Seedy Granola

Very Satisfying Seedy Granola

I found this great recipe for granola bars from Minimalist Baker. Not only are they much healthier than the store bought ones, they are very satisfying. I believe all the nutrient and protein rich seeds in them do the trick. Even my husband tells me that he only needs a small piece to get him going at work. 

Super Energy Granola Bars - modified from a recipe from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cups rolled oats 

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1 packed cup dates, pitted (I use medjool)

2 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp sunflower seeds

2 tbsp grounded flax seeds

2 tbsp hemp seeds

1/4 maple syrup (or honey)

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (or almond butter)

1/4 cup currants (or cranberries)

Steps: 

  1. Toast oats and almonds in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes (or until slightly golden brown. Process dates in a food processor until small bits remain. It should come together as a lump/ball like a “dough”.
  2. Place oats, almonds, dates in a large mixing bowl. Add seeds.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm maple syrup (or honey) and peanut (or almond) butter over low heat. 
  4. Pour maple-peanut mixture over oat mixture, and mix, breaking up the dates. You can use a wooden spoon or your hands to do this. 
  5. Transfer to a shallow baking dish, lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Flatten the mixture. 
  6. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and press down with something flat to get them really packed tight. This will help them from being crumbly. Chill in the fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes until it hardens. 
  7. Remove bars from dish and cut them into small bars. 
  8. You can store in an airtight container for up to a few days. 

 

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